Colonel John Richard Marcus Townsend (5A26)

Date of Birth: 1944
Date of Death: viv 2017
Generation: 10th
Residence: South Somerset
Father: Richard Uniacke Denny Townsend DSC [5A22]
Mother: Oakes, Ursula Yvonne
Spouse:
  1. Hodgkinson, Elizabeth Heather
  2. Fry, Rosemary
Issue:
    • Professor Richard Henry Denny [5A28]
    • Victoria Heather Denny (Tiggy) [5A29]
See Also: Table VA ; Scrapbook ; Lineage ; Ancestors' Tree ; Descendents' Tree

Notes for Colonel John Richard Marcus Townsend

Married 1st 28 June 1969 at St Clement Danes, London. Elizabeth Heather Hodgkinson (1) was the only daughter of Air Chief Marshal Sir Derek Hodgkinson KCB CB DFC AFC RAF. Divorced in 1996. Married 2nd 17 January 1998. Rosemary Fry (2) was the only daughter of Alfred Markham of Epping Essex and later Budleigh Salterton, a stockbroker.

Like his maternal grandfather, John was educated at Lancing College (1957-62) and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (1963-64). He was commissioned into 1st Battalion The Sherwood Foresters on 18 December 1964. (3) As a young officer he saw service in the UK, Canada and Germany following which he was appointed Adjutant in 1972.

Following a two year appointment (1974 -75) as a Grade 3 staff officer in Headquarters 1st Armoured Division in Verden, Germany, John attended the Army Staff College in Camberley, Surrey, before being promoted Major in December 1976 (4). After this he returned to Regimental Duty to command a rifle company in 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (WFR) (5) which at the time was stationed in Colchester, Essex. During the next two years the Battalion deployed to South Armagh in Northern Ireland for four months and to Belize for six months.

In December 1978 John was posted to Headquarters 1st British Corps in Bielefeld, Germany, to assume a Grade 2 staff appointment on the Exercise Planning Staff. Two years later he was posted to Suffield, Alberta, Canada as the Senior Infantry Safety Officer on the live firing ranges at the British Army Training Unit Suffield. Following this he attended a six month Joint Service Defence College course at the Royal Naval College Greenwich, London before being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (6) on 31 December 1983 and moving to Hemer in Germany to assume command of 1 WFR in June the following year.

After 3 months in Germany John returned to the UK with his Battalion to take up the role of Demonstration Battalion for the School of Infantry at Warminster, Wiltshire. Following this he moved to London in December 1986 to take up a position on the Directing Staff at The Royal College of Defence Studies. He remained there until 1990 and during that time visited many countries around the world. Following a short spell in the Ministry of Defence, he was promoted Colonel (7) in 1992 and appointed Head of the NATO/Overseas Operations Branch at HQ United Kingdom Land Forces at Wilton in Wiltshire.

John retired from the army in June 1993 (8) and now lives in South Somerset with his second wife. He devotes his time to work on the Townsend Family Website, gardening and cabinet making (some photographs of his work are contained in his 'Scrapbook').

(1) Elizabeth was born on 10 March 1949.

(2) Rosemary was born on 17 April 1936.

(3) London Gazette 43576 dated 12 February 1965.

(4) London Gazette 47117 dated 10 January 1977.

(5) The Worcestershire Regiment and The Sherwood Foresters amalgamated in January 1970.

(6) London Gazette 49619 dated 16 June 1984.

(7) London Gazette 53001 dated 27 July 1992.

(8) London Gazette 53356 dated 28 June 1993.